This interesting and unusual surname, with the modern variant spellings Egle, Eagles, Eagell and Eglese, has three known origins, the first of which is from a medieval English nickname found mainly in East Anglia for someone with a lordly impressive appearance or with particularly sharp sight, from the qualities associated with the bird. The derivation is from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "egle", from the Old French "aigle", itself from the Latin "aquila", which, after the Norman Conquest of 1066 replaced the Olde English pre 7th Century word "earn".The second origin is locational and is a dialectal variant of the name "Oakley", from the place in Lincolnshire so called. The third source is also locational from the Norman placename "Laigle", in the province of Orne. Recordings from English Church Registers include the christening of John, son of George and Marie Eagle, on January 2nd 1596, at Repps with Bastwick, Norfolk, and the christening of Anne, daughter of William Eagle, in 1612, at St. James', Clerkenwell, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Egle, which was dated 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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